Kansas Early Autism Services
As a result of the drastic increase in diagnosed cases of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) has sought funding support for an early intensive Autism Medicaid waiver program to provide services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Studies show that early intensive behavioral intervention for these children are the most effective method for increasing functional skills, replacing challenging behavior, and improving quality of life.
The waiver will provide opportunities for children with Autism to receive intensive early intervention treatment and their primary caregivers to receive needed support through respite services. The program will greatly benefit children with Autism and their families, in the future it may potentially provide dramatic cost savings to the state, as these children are less likely to depend on public services over the course of their lifetime. According to the Autism Society of America, the cost of lifelong care can be reduced by two-thirds with early diagnosis and intervention.
Currently, Autism can be diagnosed as early as eighteen months of age. Services provided to children during early childhood have the additional benefit of preparing children for entering the school system. Studies show that with intensive early interventions around fifty percent of children with Autism can succeed in the regular education classroom by first grade. Others will make gains significant enough that they will only require partial or less intensive special education services.
The HCBS Autism waiver is an early intensive intervention waiver for children who are 0 through 5 years of age, who has a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Children are required to meet functionally eligiblilty guidelines and Kansas’ financially eligible guidelines for Medicaid, and utilize two waiver services every month.
Map of Autism Waiver Applicant Geographic Distribution across Kansas